Saturday, 31 May 2014

Cool Pigeons

The three pigeons suffering from the Paramyxovirus are making steady progress and I feel fairly confident that they will fully recover. I think the prompt action of catching them at the first signs of the disease has been the key to their recovery.

Catching them before they became too ill to respond to treatment meant that they had sufficient strength to recover. Ensuring that they were rehydrated and given enough food to keep their systems working normally allowed them to eventually beat the virus and its terrible effects. Rehydration and plenty of food that built up their immune systems was the key.

Two of them are no longer showing any extreme symptoms like poor coordination and inability to eat. The last one is still a bit unsteady on its feet but should respond well in a week or two. Meanwhile these birds are the coolest, they know how to chill out, and I am impressed by the way they rest on each wing in turn and sleep and dream as well !  If you wonder how I know they dream, Vera / Vinnie, was coo-ing whilst eyes shut and sleeping., the coo-ing got so loud he woke himself up ! Take it from me - birds dream !  PS. They are messy !!!

D-Day Looms for Saved Ducklings

Departure day is due for the 9 Saved ducklings this coming week. They have had 8 weeks of attention and are on the verge of flight, so their chances of survival are as good as I could make them.

Everything else they will have to learn from the other ducks in the river.

I still have the injured Mother with 4 ducklings, and another two without a mother, these will be released later.

Friday, 30 May 2014

More Aww Pics Again

The cygnets are growing fast and still the centre of riverside attraction. It's easy to see why !

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Trust Members Photos

Trust members George Berryman and  Barry Searle sent in a few pics. The first was from George of a mother Duck about to take the plunge with the ducklings looking on. 

The other two of the cygnets taken by Barry at the harbour. 

Both cameras have a higher ratio of pixels than mine so have cropped to aid display.
Nice shots guys !

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Harbour Cygnets

The Swans now spend a fair bit of time in the harbour, sheltered calm waters suit the cygnets just fine

Some Harbour shots over the past week.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Riding the Rapids

Sequence of shots shows Penny taking the Cygnets towards the rapids, she gives instructions to Popeye to close up at the rear.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Rescue and Rehab

This is the busiest time of year for all rescue and rehab centres around the country, and the River Nairn Swans and Waterfowl Trust has it's share at the minute too. 

Currently caring for 15 ducklings, one mother duck with a broken wing, and 3 sick pigeons.

Nine of the saved vulnerable ducklings will be released into the river in a week or two, the mother duck with her 4 ducklings only when it's safe to do so. 

The two recently hatched ones in 2 months time.

The Pigeons seem to be making progress fighting the Paramyxovirus. 

Vera should have been named Vinnie since it turns out to be a male, and he makes it plain to the other two. He has made great progress and am sure is beating the virus now, he can now feed himself and no longer has neck torsion spasms or cartwheels across the floor. After 4 weeks he is no longer in danger of dying from the virus.

The remaining two I still have to rehydrate and tube feed.  I have been working full time keeping on top of the situation, who said retirement is easy !!

The latest river duckling figures are 55 fatalities due to predators, and 28 surviving to date. The current cold weather does not help ! 

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

2014 Cygnets

For those of you who haven't yet seen the cygnets close up, I have a short video clip below for your enjoyment.

They are already growing fast, so take the opportunity to see them soon !

Video below.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Best Time For Photos

With the cygnets newly hatched and often on Penny's back, now is the time to get some good photos of the swans. 

The light conditions are also better and the cygnets will only be allowed to hitch a ride for about another week, before Penny stops doing it.

 Four of last years brood returned to the river, only to be chased immediately by Popeye who was sitting atop the nest.

A mother duck took advantage of the vacant nest today and briefly took over the prime location.  

The two ducklings I hatched the other day are enjoying their thrice daily trips to the wash hand basin too !

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Duck News

What a week this has been for me, the cygnets hatching, the sick pigeons making slow progress, then an emergency call after a mother duck was run over on Tuesday at King street while trying to cross the road with 5 ducklings in tow.

After retrieving the injured duck and ducklings, a trip to the vet was essential, the mother has a compound fracture of the wing and a broken toe as well as various scrapes. All 5 ducklings appeared OK but one has since died. After an antibiotic jab and the wing bandaged I took it home to the comfort of the coop with her babies. Within an hour she had removed the bandage, and I had to re-apply  the dressing only to have it removed within a couple of hours again !

The third attempt lasted until the following day, and I had no choice but another trip to the vet to see if I could get them to immobilise the wing for at least 10 days to allow the bones to fuse together. It seems an impossible task, since the ducks instinct is to remove the pesky object which is stopping her from shielding her babies ! The vet decided that a minimal surgical tape on the break was the best chance of her leaving it alone. So far it seems to be working but this is only the second day ! The prognosis is bad since the break is on the joint and a compound one as well.. Even if she is unable to fly but able to get around smartly would do, in order to rear her babies once back in the river. I will keep her a few weeks until they all have a fighting chance. A bypass is needed for the ducks, did I hear a mention of a tree lined A96 with little traffic, what a lovely dream !

Today the gloom was lifted by the hatching of the two eggs I saved from the gull duck nest raiders a month ago -

this is two they wont get !